A’s Tony Kemp nominated for Clemente Award as ‘+1 Effect’ effort continues

KANSAS CITY – While Tony Kemp’s two seasons with the A’s were perhaps his most productive on the pitch, his impact has extended beyond. Kemp was this week named Oakland’s nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award for the second time.

A’s utility Kemp launched his +1 Effect initiative last summer to spark a discussion about racial and societal issues in America. Kemp has invited fans on social media to have conversations with him about race and other issues, an effort he said on Wednesday continues.

“People are still asking questions in my DMs about the race to this day, and I think it’s good to keep the conversation going,” Kemp said before the A’s played against the Royals.

“It’s always a work in progress where everyone is trying to improve themselves to get out of their shoes and see if they can live in someone else’s shoes and see how I feel. The +1 effect is having conversations with someone else in a positive way to raise awareness and spread positivity through other people and what they think about race, so that’s been good.

T-shirts created for the campaign were seen in A games in Oakland and on the road. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Players Alliance, a group founded by current and former black players in the major leagues to promote fairness in baseball. According to Kemp’s agency, Ballengee Group, proceeds from other +1 Effect t-shirt designs are donated to the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center and Compassion in Oakland, which provides chaperone services to elderly residents of Oakland’s Chinatown. .

Kemp is also working with the Players Alliance and earlier this season partnered with the environmental nonprofit Players for the Planet by committing to plant 100 trees for every base stolen and each additional base hit he records. . PG&E, an A-partner company, is committed to matching Kemp’s tree donations, according to the team.

The Clemente Award recognizes a major league player “who best represents baseball through his extraordinary character, his community involvement, his philanthropy and his positive contributions on the field and in the community.” MLB’s Roberto Clemente Day, Kemp and shortstop Elvis Andrus, a former Clemente Award nominee, wore the No.21 jerseys in Clemente’s honor on Wednesday.

“I feel like in my career and since college there have been a lot of accolades and accolades and the Roberto Clemente award is # 1 for me,” Kemp said. “It kind of shows you what you’re doing to give back to the community and it encompasses so much. Just very blessed, very humbled to be in the same sentence as Roberto Clemente. It means a lot. “

The A’s have said they plan to recognize Kemp for his nomination ahead of next Monday’s game in Oakland.

“During the whole (for social justice) movement last year he was an inspiration to us and a resource for all of us, had a great voice,” said manager Bob Melvin. “What he does off the pitch is measured by that. … I know he is extremely proud of it, as he should be, and we are proud to have him on our team.

Matt Kawahara covers the A’s for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @matthewkawahara

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